您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 文化 >> 正文

我们这代人的《星球大战》

更新时间:2017-5-27 11:04:27 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

How ‘Star Wars’ Defined My Generation
我们这代人的《星球大战》

Three important things happened in the middle of 1977, each separated by a little more than a month: “Star Wars” was released, I celebrated my 11th birthday and Elvis Presley died. One of those things is not like the others, I know, and strictly speaking there wasn’t then and isn’t now anything beyond calendar coincidence that links them together. But those random events nonetheless go a long way toward explaining my relationship to popular culture.

1977年中期发生了三件重要的事,时间分别间隔一个月多一点:《星球大战》(Star Wars)上映、我庆祝11岁生日、还有埃尔维斯·普莱斯利(Elvis Presley)去世。我知道其中一件事和另外两件不大一样,而且严格来说,无论是在当时还是现在,除了日期上的巧合,这三件事之间其实没什么联系。不过,这些随机事件仍然可以在很大程度上解释我同流行文化之间的关系。

And not only mine, of course. Modern life is a series of generational milestones. We calibrate our collective identities according to the shared experience of public events, including hit movies and popular songs. Whether we like them or not, those become part of the architecture of our private selves and also a kind of currency we trade with our peers. Elvis, in his mid-40s at the time of his death, was for kids like me immutably the property of the old, a reminder of the moment in our parents’ youth when everything had changed. The Beatles represented a similar, slightly more recent earthquake: They too belonged to the past. We had sung their songs in nursery school and heard them on “Sesame Street.” Nostalgia had claimed them. “Star Wars” was different. It was ours — our own special tectonic shift, after which the landscape was forever altered.

当然,不仅仅是我一个人同流行文化的关系。现代生活由一系列不同世代的里程碑组成。我们用公共事件中的共同体验来精确调整我们的集体身份认同,热门电影和流行歌曲也在在这些公共事件之列。无论我们喜欢与否,它们都参与建构了我们的个人身份,也是我们与同龄人交流的一种硬通货。猫王去世时40多岁,对于我这样的孩子来说,他属于旧时代的产物,这一点是无可改变的,他提醒我们想起父母的年轻时代,那时候一切都变了。披头士(The Beatles)乐队象征着类似的文化地震,只是时间距现在更近一点:然而他们也属于过去。我们在幼儿园里唱他们的歌,在《芝麻街》(Sesame Street)里听到他们的歌。他们已经属于怀旧了。但《星球大战》是不同的。它是我们的——属于我们自己的地壳板块漂移,之后大陆的面貌永远改变了。

Or so the story goes, in both its heroic and tragic versions. The wild success of the film now known as “Episode IV — A New Hope” has been held responsible for much of what followed, the good along with the bad. “Star Wars” supposedly helped put an end to the risk-taking and artistic ambition of 1970s New Hollywood and ushered in an era of blockbuster domination that continues to this day. Twenty-first century grown-ups who bemoan the hegemony of fantasy-based franchise movies — which is to say most of us, at one time or another — have only our own youthful enthusiasms to blame. But the first “Star Wars” trilogy is also credited with opening up a dazzling world of fan culture, liberating nerds and geeks from the condescension of their elders and the mockery of their classmates and placing their passions at the center of the universe. Like rock ’n’ roll before it, this cultural dispensation may not have been immediately respectable, but it proved to be instantly profitable and endlessly renewable.

故事就这样发展下去,无论是其中英雄的一面还是悲剧的一面。这部电影如今被称为《星球大战第四集——新希望》(Episode IV — A New Hope),它的巨大成功导致了其后发生的许多事情,好坏参半。据说《星球大战》在终结1970年代新好莱坞的冒险精神与艺术野心方面发挥了作用,令我们迎来了持续至今的大片统治时代。21世纪的成年人——我是指我们当中的大多数人——时不时就会哀叹一下奇幻商业大片的霸权,但这只能怪到我们自己年轻时代热衷的东西。不过,第一个《星球大战》三部曲也被誉为开辟了一个令人目眩的粉丝文化世界,让那些怪胎和书呆们得以摆脱长辈的居高临下与同学们的嘲笑,在宇宙中心释放自己的激情。就像之前的摇滚乐那样,这种文化系统可能不会立即受到尊重,但它被证明可以很快带来利润,并且可以无休止地自我更新。

How new was it, really? History has a way of making novelty look secondhand. Elvis made his indelible mark on baby boomer consciousness by putting a white face and an adolescent pout on a style of black Southern music that had been around a long time. Beatlemania was built mostly on echoes of Elvis and Chuck Berry. “Star Wars” was, if anything, an even more self-conscious throwback, a film student’s act of promiscuous homage, a hodgepodge of styles and allusions.

这种事到底有多新鲜?历史有一种特点,可以让新奇的东西看上去像是二手货。猫王为一种南方黑人的音乐风格赋予了一张白人的面孔和青春期少男的阴郁神情,从而在婴儿潮一代心中留下了不可磨灭的印记。披头士狂热主要建立在猫王与查克·贝里(Chuck Berry)的回声之上。如果说有什么不一样的话,《星球大战》是一个更具自我意识的回归,是一个电影学生五花八门的致敬,是各种风格与典故的大杂烩。

In his generous, slightly patronizing New York Times review, Vincent Canby noted the movie’s evocation of “Flash Gordon” serials and “a variety of literature that is nothing if not eclectic: ‘Quo Vadis?,’ ‘Buck Rogers,’ ‘Ivanhoe,’ ‘Superman,’ ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ ‘The Gospel According to St. Matthew,’ the legend of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table.” George Lucas’s fellow cinephiles could point out his debts to John Ford and Akira Kurosawa. “Star Wars” might have looked like science fiction and played like an aerial-combat film, but it was also a western, a samurai epic and, at least when Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford were on screen together, a screwball comedy. An exemplary act of what some of us would learn, in college a few years later, to identify as the distinctive postmodern aesthetic strategy of pastiche.

文森特·坎比(Vincent Canby)当年在《纽约时报》上发表了一篇宽宏大量、略带降尊纡贵之感的评论,他指出,这部电影令人想起《飞侠哥顿》(Flash Gordon)系列,以及“各种各样的文学作品,只能说是无所不包:《暴君焚城记》(Quo Vadis?)、《巴克罗杰斯》(Buck Rogers)、《劫后英雄传》(Ivanhoe)、《超人》(Superman)、《绿野仙踪》(The Wizard of Oz)、《马太福音》(The Gospel According to St. Matthew)、还有亚瑟王和圆桌骑士传奇故事”。乔治·卢卡斯的影迷可以看出他对约翰·福特(John Ford)与黑泽明(Akira Kurosawa)的借鉴。《星球大战》看上去可能很科幻,又表现得像是空战片,但它同时也是西部片和日本武士片,当凯莉·费雪(Carrie Fisher)和哈里森·福特(Harrison Ford)在银幕上并肩而立的时候,看上去也像是怪诞喜剧。几年之后,我们当中的一些人将在大学里学到,这是一个典范之作,被视为独特的后现代美学集大成策略。

But what, at the time, did any of us know about any of that? If you were 11 in 1977, “Star Wars” was something new under the sun. Which doesn’t mean we thought it came out of nowhere. There were action-adventure movies, multi-sequel science-fiction allegories, comic books that had initiated generations of fans in the pleasures of serial narration. There was “The Lord of the Rings” (the books and Ralph Bakshi’s animated movie); “Planet of the Apes” (the movie and the animated Saturday morning cartoon spinoff); “Star Trek”; Mad magazine. Plenty of fuel to feed a fan’s budding imagination.

但在当时呢,我们当中有谁知道这些事?如果1977年的你是个11岁的孩子,《星球大战》对你来说就是这个世界上的新鲜事物。但这并不意味着我们认为它是凭空而来的。在这之前,动作冒险电影、系列科幻小说和漫画书已经吸引了好几代的粉丝享受连载叙事的乐趣。还有《指环王》(The Lord of the Rings,包括原著小说和拉尔夫·巴克希[Ralph Bakshi]的动画片);《猿人星球》(Planet of the Apes,包括电影和周六上午播放的漫画改编动画);《星际迷航》(Star Trek);以及《疯狂》(Mad)杂志。它们都为粉丝萌芽中的想象力提供了丰富的燃料。

All of those were the kindling, and it’s possible that if Mr. Lucas hadn’t struck the match, the explosion would have happened anyway. What ignited in the summer of 1977 may not have been only — even primarily — the love of a particular film. In retrospect, the larger phenomenon of “Star Wars” represented what looks like the inevitable product of demographic and social forces.

所有这些都能引发人们的激情,如果没有卢卡斯来点燃导火索,这场爆炸或许同样会发生。1977年夏天被点燃的东西可能不仅仅是——甚至也不主要是——对某一部电影的热爱。回想起来,《星球大战》所代表的更广泛的现象,看上去像是人口特征和社会力量的必然产物。

The “great man” theory of history always does battle with more deterministic accounts. Here was the nascent population not yet known as Generation X, hungry for novelty, distraction, comfort, order, mythology, heroism — whatever it was that our post-’60s, recessionary moment seemed not to be supplying. All we needed was a baby boomer to give it to us, get rich in the process and incur both our worship and our resentment for the rest of our lives. He would be the inventor, but we would be the end users, and we would make the thing ours. What was true of “Star Wars” would be true, a few years later, of the personal computer. And both would eventually provide a further generational bridge, between the now-graying X-ers and the ascendant millennials.

“伟人”史观总在与更具决定性的说法抗争。这是一个刚刚涌现的世代,还没有被命名为X世代,他们渴望新鲜的体验、消遣、慰籍、秩序、神话和英勇精神,即经济衰退的60后时期所没有的东西。只需要有一个婴儿潮一代的人把它带给我们,他会在这个过程中暴富,导致我们在余生里既崇拜又怨恨他。他会成为发明者,但我们才是最终的用户,我们会让这个东西成为我们的。《星球大战》是这样,几年后出现的个人电脑也是如此。这两样东西最终还会加大现在日益老去的X世代与正在蒸蒸日上的千禧一代之间的代沟。

But more about that in a minute. I’m the ancient mariner here, and this is still my story. I’m not sure how many times I saw “Star Wars” the year it came out, but I am certain that until the arrival of my children, a DVD player and a copy of “Toy Story 2,” there is no movie I have seen as often in such rapid succession.

但这点容我以后再讲。在这里,我是那名老水手,这依然是我的故事。我不确定《星球大战》上映那一年,我看了有多少遍,但我敢肯定,直到我的第二个孩子出世、DVD播放机出现,以及《玩具总动员2》(Toy Story 2)上映之前,我从来不曾以那么快的频率把一部影片看过那么多遍。

The novelist Jonathan Lethem, two years older than I am, has written (in a piercing essay called “13, 21, 1977”) about seeing it 21 times, usually by himself, during an especially painful period in his life. I can’t quite match that total, and there was no pattern to the viewings. I think my parents took me the first time. Later, I took my little sister. Another time I went with a girl from my sixth-grade class on some awkward early approximation of a date. At least one friend’s birthday party involved a “Star Wars” outing. Going to see it was, in my recollection, a casual habit. You would be in someone’s rec room playing air hockey, or trying to pop wheelies on your bike, and you’d get bored with that and, if you hadn’t already spent your allowance, you’d head to the theater where the movie had been playing continuously since the end of the previous school year. It was something to do.

比我大两岁的小说家乔纳森·莱瑟姆(Jonathan Lethem)曾经在一篇名为《13, 21, 1977》的文章中)写过,他看了21遍,通常是一个人,而且在他人生中尤其痛苦的一段时期。我看的次数没那么多,也没有什么观影规律。我想第一次应该是父母带我去的。后来,我带着妹妹去看。还有一次,是和我所在的六年级班级里的一个女孩一起去看,那算是我早期经历的一次有点尴尬的类似约会的活动。至少有一个朋友的生日会有安排去看《星球大战》。在我记忆里,去看这部电影就是一种习惯。你会在某人的娱乐室玩桌上曲棍球,或者尝试把车头抬起的自行车特技,但你会厌倦。要不是零花钱已经用完,你就去剧院了,那里从上个学年末开始就在连续播放这部电影。也算有事可干。

For some, like Mr. Lethem, it was also a gateway into more sophisticated cinematic pleasures, and a first step on a backward path through movie history. In his case, “Star Wars” was replaced first by “2001: A Space Odyssey” and then by “The Searchers,” both of them, not coincidentally, among the identifiable ancestors of “A New Hope.” Others held fast to childish things and formed a Rebel Alliance against the Empire of adulthood. It’s hardly an accident that J. J. Abrams, director of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” is one of us. He turned 11 about two weeks before I did.

对有些人来说——比如莱瑟姆——它是通往更高深的电影娱乐的大门,是回溯电影历史的第一步。对莱瑟姆来说,《星球大战》首先被《2001太空漫游》(2001: A Space Odyssey)、而后被《搜索者》(The Searchers)所取代。这两部电影显然都是《星球大战4:新希望》的鼻祖,这并非偶然。还有些人固守孩童的本真,组成了一个反叛者联盟,对抗成人的帝国。《星球大战7:原力觉醒》(Star Wars: The Force Awakens)的导演J·J·艾布拉姆斯(J.J. Abrams)也是我们中的一员,这也绝非偶然。他比我大约早两个星期度过11岁生日。

The legend of “Star Wars” was something that arose later. In 1977, we were innocent of Joseph Campbell and the further annotations Mr. Lucas and others would provide. The allegorical meanings — the battle of good and evil, the mystery of the Force — rest lightly on the jaunty surface of “A New Hope.” There would be richer intimations of depth and darkness in “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” or maybe, since we were a few years older, we were more inclined to see them.

《星球大战》的传奇是后来才出现的。1977年,我们不了解约瑟夫·坎贝尔(Joseph Campbell),也没有体会到卢卡斯等人提供的进一步暗示。那些寓意——正邪之战,力量的神秘之处——肤浅地停留在《星球大战4:新希望》欢快的表面。《星球大战2:帝国反击战》(The Empire Strikes Back)和《星球大战3:绝地归来》(Return of the Jedi)对深度和黑暗的暗示更丰富,或者,也许是因为我们又年长了几岁,所以更容易看出这些。

And then we kind of moved on, at least until 1999, when Mr. Lucas returned with “The Phantom Menace” and the Gen X legacy of ambivalence and confusion blossomed anew. That movie was terrible! So was “Attack of the Clones.” But it didn’t seem to matter. Everyone went to see those movies anyway, and the awfulness cast a rosy and perhaps unmerited glow on the first trilogy. Those movies weren’t all that good either. And that didn’t matter. They existed — the whole cosmos, or gestalt, or whatever it is, exists — in a realm beyond such judgments, and also beyond the ordinary operations of nostalgia. “Star Wars” is an old movie now, older now than Elvis Presley’s first records were in 1977. The film moves slowly and shows its predigital seams. It’s more charming than sublime, a silly pop-culture throwaway full of funny creatures, terrible dialogue and breathless acting. It’s exactly the same as I remember it, and watching it again I wonder what I ever saw in it. I find my lack of faith disturbing. And yet, I’m still a believer.

然后,我们算是放下了,至少直到1999年,卢卡斯携《星球大战前传1:幽灵的威胁》(The Phantom Menace)回归,X一代的矛盾情绪和迷惑再次爆发。那部电影糟糕透了!《星球大战前传2:克隆人的进攻》(Attack of the Clones)也是如此。不过,这似乎无关紧要。反正大家都去看了那些电影,它们的糟糕给第一个三部曲带上了它不配有的美丽光环。其实,第一个三部曲也没有那么精彩。那无关紧要。它们——整个宇宙,或者说格式塔,或者随便叫什么——存在于另一个层面,它们超越这些判断,也超越寻常的怀旧。到现在,《星球大战》算是一部老电影了,比1977年时猫王的早期专辑还显得古老。这部电影推进得很慢,还暴露出前数字时代的破绽。它最多只能算是“迷人”,远谈不上“绝妙”,它就是一部愚蠢的流行文化消费品,充满好玩的生物、糟糕的对白和气喘吁吁的表演——和我记忆中的一样。我再次观看时,很想知道自己从前是看上了它哪一点。我为自己不再崇拜它感到不安。不过,我依然是一个拥有信仰的人。

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表